Work in Progress

You are invited to peek behind the curtain and engage with artists and historians in their work.

Work in Progress: Exhibited from December 14, 2012 - March 17, 2013.

In this exhibition, art and history are transformed into a living, breathing process that evolves over time, immersing visitors in the creation of art installations and historical research.

In the winter of 2012-2013, the MAH transformed from a museum of products to a museum of process, titled, Work in Progress. The project manifested in different ways throughout the museum, with each floor showcasing collaborations with different artists coming together to develop an inclusive, and immersive, exhibit for all to be a part of.

First Floor Artist


Ze Frank

The Lezin Gallery on the first floor of The MAH was occupied by the artist Ze Frank. Ze Franks spends time bridging online and onsite communities in order to create massively collaborative sculptures, videos, and shared narratives. This project is a component of Ze Frank’s 'A Show', an online video project that pairs artists and designers with participants around the globe. Click here for Ze's introduction to the exhibition project.

Second Floor Artist

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Second Floor Landing

The landing of the second floor is a special location of the museum where sketches by local artists and students were featured: Heidi Cramer, Dmitri Zuritar, Gina Farkas, and Gary Maricich. Each artist was given a sketchbook and invited to share some of their 'Work in Progress', (WIP), with us. Thanks to their contribution, we were able to add a new sketch to the wall every week for nine weeks.

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Thomas Campbell

In the Solari Gallery on the second floor, the artist, painter/sculptor, Thomas Campbell, created his most ambitious work to date, a 75-foot-long three-dimensional mural in the museum's main gallery, incorporating paint, collage, and sewing. Visitors were able to watch the gallery progress from a blank slate to an overpowering artwork over two months, both live and through videos captured in the space. Thomas Campbell collaborated with the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History on 'Work in Progress,' a project intended to pull back the curtain on the creative process. For eleven weeks, museum visitors could watch as Thomas invented, deconstructed, and reimagined a landscape of mythic characters and stories. You can relive the experience through these videos capturing the mural-making and the creation of a bronze sculpture.

Third Floor Artists


UCSC's 'Barn Raising'

In the Art Forum Gallery on the third floor, The MAH worked with UCSC to present 'Barn Raising', an exhibition on the future of the South Campus Hay Barn. This exhibition introduced visitors to the history of UCSC South campus, the techniques of timber framing, and the possibilities for the future. Students, families, and adults worked together to raise a model of the UCSC Hay Barn and to learn more about a vision for Cowell Lime Works Historic District. Like timber framers throughout time, participants pounded pegs, raised the frame, and contributed their own memories and dreams to the future of the Hay Barn.

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Third Floor Lobby

In the lobby area, artists Kyle McKinley and Nick Lally transformed the space of the museum through a series of community workshops. Founders of the Building Collective, they invited amateur historians, story makers, accidental geographers, and other participants to the museum to drink coffee, eat snacks, and create spatial histories by sharing stories in a communal space. These shared histories became a giant concept map drawn on the walls that served as a record of these meetings and explored connections between the social and material practices that continually recreate the spaces we inhabit.

Tannery Arts Center Mobile Hanging

Lastly, there hung a mobile down the center of the stairwell of the museum. It was created by Tannery Art Center artists to represent and symbolize their creative process. The artists that helped develop the mobile were: Gayle Pitts, Art Pitts, Stephen Lynch, Susan Vaughan, Margaret Niven, Joohe Miller, Howard Seth Miller, Coral Leah Brune, and Kirby Scudder. With contributions from; Jody Alexander, Johanna Atkinson, Mary Atkinson, Jonathan Chorn, Linda Cover, Heather Feaga, James Feaga, Angela Gleason, Ann Hazels, Laura Jordon, Robert Larson, Chris Lynch, Eireene Nealand, Anna Oneglia, Yasmina Porter, Beth Shields, Lisa Silas, and Joan Staffen.

In the News

Saturday was hardly normal at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. This past weekend, in conjunction with our exhibition about Ze Frank's current participatory project, 'A Show'.

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Thomas Campbell, always hard at work on a variety of projects, has currently embedded himself in Santa Cruz near his studio to complete a mural at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History.

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As part of a three-month exhibition titled 'Work in Progress', at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History (MAH), the Building Collective has been invited to create an installation that explores spatial stories of Santa Cruz.

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The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH) became involved with the project about a year ago, the “Barn Raising” exhibition, which will be open until March 17, focuses on the future of the Cowell Lime Works Hay Barn.

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